Essay On The Causes Of The First World War

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There are several causes for the First World War. One of the main events that pronounced the beginning of the war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro -Hungarian throne. The assassin was Gavrilo Princip, who was a member of a nationalist group called the Black Hand which aimed to unite the territories containing Serbs. However, although the occurrence is seen as the main cause, it was only the spark. The assassination combined with the conflicts with alliances, imperialism and nationalism, set stage for the war. Many see Germany as the main cause of World War I due to the Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28th in 1919; however, the event that sparked the outbreak of the war which killed over seventeen million people and left twenty million wounded, happened exactly five years prior. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death along with his wife by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on the 28th of June in 1914. The great Prussian statesman Otto von …show more content…
Nationalism heightened tensions in Europe because of economic competition and pressured the nations to the point they got into conflict. Germany was pressured to catch up to Britain and when it did, Britain was threatened by Germany which led to the formation of alliances and increased tension. With the Treaty of Versailles came Article 231, or the “war guilt” clause. This placed responsibility for starting the war entirely on Germany’s shoulders, forcing them to pay billions of dollars in reparations. This shows exactly why Great Britain joined the war: to weaken Germany’s economy to regain the number one spot in Europe. They felt threatened by the Germany’s rise in economic strength and wanted to again establish themselves as

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